Major in Legal Studies

Students may seek an academic major or minor in legal studies.

The legal studies program prepares students with the knowledge, skills, and ethical principles necessary to research and produce legal information and documents in law-related environments. The curriculum addresses the organization, function, and processes of the lawmaking institutions in the American legal system, as well as the role of the paralegal in the legal system and the governing rules of legal ethics. It emphasizes legal analysis, legal writing and drafting, legal research, and computer competence in the legal environment. The major in legal studies provides a solid foundation for challenging paralegal work in various legal settings as well as for further education in a variety of fields.

Intended Program Outcomes

The student who graduates with a major in legal studies should be able to

  • Conduct research using appropriate resources to identify relevant, current legal authority.
  • Draft writings that reflect critical thinking and legal reasoning to inform, advocate, or persuade on legal matters.
  • Use interpersonal and leadership skills to be a cooperative and self-reliant member of a legal team.
  • Apply knowledge of legal systems, concepts, and methodologies to efficiently and ethically support the resolution of legal disputes.
  • Gather relevant information and properly complete a wide variety of forms and documents used in private practice and government service.

Degree Requirements

A degree with a major in legal studies requires the successful completion of 120 credits of coursework, including 33 credits for the major; 41 credits in general education requirements; and 46 credits in the minor, electives, and other degree requirements. At least 17 credits in the major must be earned in upper-level courses (numbered 300 or above).

Requirements for the Legal Studies Major

Coursework for a major in legal studies includes the following:

Recommended Sequence

The following course sequence will fulfill all the requirements for the BS in legal studies. Coursework for the major is indicated by Coursework for the major. Since some recommended courses fulfill more than one requirement, substituting courses for those listed may make it necessary to take additional courses to meet degree requirements. Students should consult an advisor whenever taking advantage of other options.

Legal Studies Degree Courses

First Courses (to be taken within the first 18 credits)

Note: Placement tests are required for math and writing courses.                 

  • EDCP 100 Principles and Strategies of Successful Learning (3)
    (strongly recommended as first course)  
  • LIBS 150 Introduction to Research (1)        
  • WRTG 101 Introduction to Writing (3)
    or WRTG 101S Introduction to Writing (3)
  • MATH 106 Finite Mathematics (3)
    or a higher-level math course               

Introductory Courses (to be taken within the first 30 credits) 

  • HUMN 100 Introduction to Humanities (3)
    or other arts and humanities course
  • ECON 103 Economics in the Information Age (3)
    or other behavioral and social sciences course
  • BIOL 103 Introduction to Biology (4)
    or other biological and physical sciences lecture and laboratory course(s)
  • WRTG 293 Introduction to Professional Writing (3)
    or other writing course
  • IFSM 201 Concepts and Applications of Information Technology (3)
    or CMST 301 Digital Media and Society (3)
  • BEHS 103 Technology in Contemporary Society (3)
    or other behavioral and social sciences course
    (discipline must differ from first)

Foundation Courses (to be taken within the first 60 credits) 

  • HIST 125 Technological Transformations (3)
    or other arts and humanities/historical perspective course
    (discipline must differ from other humanities course)
  • NSCI 100 Introduction to Physical Science (3)
    or other biological and physical sciences lecture course
  • COMM 202 Media and Society (3)
    or other communication, writing, or speech course
  • Coursework for the major LGST 101 Introduction to Law (3) 
  • Coursework for the major LGST 200 Techniques of Legal Research (3) 
  • Coursework for the major LGST 201 Legal Writing (3) 
  • Coursework for the major LGST 204 Legal Ethics (3) 
  • CMIS 111 Social Networking and Cybersecurity Best Practices (3)
    or other interdisciplinary issues/computing course               

Additional Required Courses (to be taken after introductory and foundation courses) 

  • WRTG 394 Advanced Business Writing (3)
    or other upper-level advanced writing course
  • Coursework for the major LGST 300 Advanced Legal Research and Analysis (3)
  • Coursework for the major LGST 301 Advanced Legal Writing (3)
  • Coursework for the major LGST 312 Torts (3)
    or other core course for the major
  • Coursework for the major LGST 320 Criminal Law and Procedures (3)
    or other core course for the major
  • Coursework for the major LGST 325 Litigation (3)
    or other core course for the major
  • Coursework for the major LGST 450 Bankruptcy Law (3)
    or other substantive law course

Senior Experience Course for the Major (to be taken in the last 15 credits) 

  • Coursework for the major LGST 460 Law Office Management (3)
    or other senior experience course               

Minor and/or Elective Courses (43)
(to be taken in the last 60 credits along with required major courses)

 

Total credits for BS in legal studies: 120

Contact Me

Apply Now

Or call 800-888-UMUC (8682) to speak directly with an advisor.

Courses of Interest

No courses have been added yet. To add a course, click on a course title, then click "add to courses of interest" below the course description.